Careers Unplugged by Meena Thuraisingham

Despite some naive quoting/interpretation of statistics, still an enjoyable book to peruse and think about one's career. Published in 2007, it has a web-like feel to it, lots of big stockphoto pictures with color-coordinated text.

Competence and passion constitute an unbeatable combination for a successful career. If you can find something that you're both good at and feel strongly about, you are well placed to achieve a truly satisfying career.
Chapter 1, Combine competence and passion
c.f. these quotes
... a study by the global executive search firm Spencer Stuart in 2003 showed a causal link between passion and executive success. The firm segmented its database of 1.2 million professional people into 3 bands: exceptional executives, senior professionals, and average employees. The found that of those classified as execeptional executives, 60% said their job leveraged both their personal strengths and their passions. On the other hand, only 9.2% of all other professionals said that their jobs leveraged both their personal strengths and their passions.
Chapter 1, Combine competence and passion
s/causal link/correlation/; # how'd they prove causality?
Many of us are poor observers of our own behaviour. This is not only because we may have never developed the skill, but also because of the frenetic pace of life. The pace at which many of us live precludes reflection and, more crucially, self-reflection.
Chapter 1, Be yourself with skill
Blind spots can seriously derail careers. Give the attention it deserves to identifying and eliminating them.
Don't think about your development or attempt to prepare a career plan before reflecting on who you are and who you want to be, and on your strengths and how you should use them for intended impact.
Chapter 2, Become familiar with your blind spots
Most research on staff retention shows that people leave managers, not organizations.
Chapter 3, Think role not job
questions about a new boss:
  1. Will I learn from her?
  2. What skills do I need that I will be able to learn from her?
  3. Do people who work for her, or have worked for her before, say she is a good coach and mentor?
  4. Does her span of control allow for the time required to really invest in coaching me?
  5. Does she have the style of leadership that will give me the space to grow?
  6. Does she have a reputation for prioritising training and development for her team?
  7. Is she generally well-regarded in the organization
  8. What roles have the previous incumbents of this role progressed to?
Chapter 3, Do your due diligence
A working identity is not about employing a megaphone and soapbox to make your point, nor is it about trumpeting your achievements. At the basic level it is about how you choose to 'show up' in the organization at all times and how you choose to present yourself throughout your career. It is about everyday behaviours such as: how you groom yourself to appear, how you write, how you present your ideas, how you conduct yourself at meetings.
Your difference = your working identity or brand
Chapter 4, Craft a distinctive working identity
Look sharp, be sharp
It is important that you understand your own way of responding to conflict...
we can deal with conflict in one of two ways -- by confronting it (active response) or by not confronting it (passive response)...
Chapter 5, Become conflict-competent
I typically shut down and wait for the aggressor to return to rationality. Time to play with other tactics. What's the worst that could happen, they could get upset? ;)
Career Stallers and Stoppers:
  1. Unable to adapt to differences/change
  2. Overly ambitious
  3. Arrogant
  4. Betrayer of trust
  5. Slow/poor learner
  6. Lack of composure
  7. Defensiveness
  8. Absence of a moral compass
  9. Failure to build a team
  10. Failure to staff/resource effectively
  11. Insensitive to others
  12. Key skill deficiencies
  13. Lack of strategic orientation
  14. Lack of managerial/administrative skills
  15. Over-dependence on an advocate
  16. Over-dependence on a single skill
  17. Over-managing
Chapter 7, Learn from the reasons that others failed
There are generally two types of mentor: a skills mentor -- one who has mastered a skill or expertise you wish to acquire, develop, or strengthen, and who enjoys teaching; a career mentor -- someone you would like to be in 10-20 years' time and who represents career success as you define it, achieved in a career that you can realistically hope to emulate.
Chapter 8, Where and how mentoring fits